Christmas Is More than a Tool to Numb Your Pain

Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. Season’s greetings. Happy holidays.

You hear all the cheery greetings. You read them on cards, see them on decorations, and hear them in songs. And you feel all the emotions that are attached to them.

So This is Christmas

You blast the holiday tunes through your earbuds to drown out the lies you keep hearing over and over in your head.

You volunteer at every Christmas activity at church to avoid the guilt you feel from all the hidden sin in your life.

You watch every sappy Christmas movie you can think of to distract yourself from the fact that you’re facing another Christmas alone.

You bake hundreds of cookies (and eat just a few) to shake the frustration that you haven’t been able to lose the weight you promised to lose last Christmas.

You spend your entire last paycheck on gifts for family and friends with the hope of earning their love in return.

You fill your space with the cutest decor to hide the disappointment that has built up in the cracks and crevices of your apartment.

You throw the most extravagant Christmas parties with the expectation that you will finally feel talented and fulfilled.

Sadly, this is what we have turned Christmas into—a tool to numb our pain. But dear friends, it is so much more.

Depression + Despair + Disappointment = Hope

I know how icky our emotions can seem at Christmastime. They bubble up and bubble over, and we panic. We don’t know what to do with these uncomfortable feelings, so we do anything and everything to not think about them. To brush them to the back of our minds. To forget they exist. And that seems to sort of work—at least temporarily. 

But when we are completely and utterly alone, we have to stare our unpleasant emotions in the face and do something. We hear the deafening lies. We carry unbearably heavy guilt. We feel oh-so-single and lonely. We sit with the extra unneeded pounds. We are consumed with unwantedness. We sink into disappointment. We feel worthless and unnecessary.

Until we recognize that Christmas means an eternity of freedom from hopelessness.

And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” (Luke 1:30-33 NASB)

Christ offers a perfect kingdom with no end, unlike the imperfect holiday hubbub that always ends. But Christmas isn’t the Novocaine that numbs or the anesthesia that lets us drift into slumber. It is the surgery that hurts in the moment but heals in the long-term. Because Christ is the surgeon.

So don’t hide your pain from Him any longer. Don’t keep it to yourself. Don’t try to distract yourself from it. The Christmas parties and donations and movies and decorations can’t permanently heal depression, anxiety, or fear. So gives those over to the Son of the Most High whose reign never ends.

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